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Venezuela has wiped the slate clean granting Guyana a full debt write-off of US$12.5M.Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh,Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping, told the National Assembly that a debt cancellation agreement was concluded with Venezuela whilst discussions are progressing with other creditors.During his two hours and a half presentation of the National Budget, Dr. Singh said that Guyana’s external debt grew by 16 percent in 2008 to US$833.7M reflecting disbursements under multilateral projects in execution along with bilateral disbursements,Air Max 90 Black And White Leather, and debt service payments increased by 11 percent to US$21M.He said that Guyana has continued to maintain a prudent debt management strategy and has taken considerable steps to strengthen public debt management, including formulation of a national debt and new financing strategy along with ongoing capacity building initiatives.However, the country remains moderately at risk of debt distress arising from vulnerability to exogenous shocks such as from commodity price movements, a situation that is compounded by declining concessional resources from our traditional development partners.Dr. Singh told the National Assembly that efforts will be made to mobilise external and domestic debt in a manner that provides the best quality funding for poverty reduction and economic development, while ensuring the long-term sustainability of our domestic and external debt profile.Speaking about the challenges of 2009, the Finance Minister noted that once the global conditions today are anything to judge by, the road immediately ahead will certainly not be easy for small vulnerable economies such as Guyana’s.Over recent months and weeks, the external context in which Guyana operates has descended into what can only be described as ‘chaos and turmoil in the global financial system’.Today’s environment, he added, is totally ‘uncharted territory’ for policymakers and market participants alike.It is for that reason that caution and prudence are required of us as we navigate the way forward, he said.The Finance Minister added that Guyana must be prepared as a country for the external environment to test the country to the limit.“Overcoming the challenges of today and realising the aspirations for tomorrow will demand the very best in all,Wholesale Authentic Jerseys Outlet, as individuals and as a nation.“The lessons of history are replete with testimony to the resilience and resourcefulness of the Guyanese people, and if these were to be my guide, I would have no doubt that we will emerge from this global economic crisis a stronger people and a stronger Guyana.”Dr. Singh presented Guyana’s largest budget on Monday, amounting to $128.9B that aims at having the economy of Guyana withstand the impact of the global financial crisis.While announcing a less than desired Gross Domestic Product growth,Wholesale Cheap Jerseys, the Finance Minister said that 2009 should fare better, but it is dependent on the success of the new Skeldon Sugar Factory.According to Dr Singh, the budget was crafted with the objective of preserving macroeconomic stability,Cheap Jerseys From China, but he was also cognisant of the fact that the country was operating in a global economy that “is currently experiencing its most challenging time in recent memory”.As such, the minister pointed out,Nike Air Max 97 Australia, for this year, the sugar sector is once again likely to exert significant influence on overall performance of the GDP, given that it is projected to recover from a particularly low base.This notion is embedded in the fact that the new plant is supposed to be up and running under Guyanese control by mid-year.Sugar recorded a horrendous performance in 2008.
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